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Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 Review:
Wider Perspectives
By Chief Editor Matthew Klein and Senior Contributor David Salas

Adidas has a long history of making excellent distance racing shoes. The original Adios and Adios 2 were the tools of choice for many elite marathon runners, including those like multiple-time champion and world record holder Haile Gebrselassie. The Adios Pro series entered the arena with one of the first examples of Adidas's Lightstrike Pro foam combined with carbon rods. It was an excellent long-distance racing shoe and definitely worked better with longer-distance races/efforts. The Adios Pro 2 debuted as a completely different shoe, featuring geometric cutouts, a lightweight and a far faster ride that worked for races from the 5k distance up to the marathon for many. The aggressive geometry did not work for everyone and the Adidas Adios Pro 3 has changed that with a wider sole. The changes bring the Adios Pro series back to its roots as a more marathon/longer distance racing shoe. This helps differentiate it from the Takumi Sen series as the two compliment each other, rather than overlapping in function. 

Price: $249.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 7.6 oz, 215 g (men's size 9), Women's Weights Not Provided
Stack Height: 39.5 / 33 mm
Drop: 6.5 mm
Classification: Long Distance Racing Shoe (Super Shoe)


Matt: The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 returns as a max stack height racing shoe geared toward longer distance and marathon racing. A wider sole balances out the shoe, making it feel more cushioned from heel to toe. Two layers of Lightstrike Pro contribute to this, with additional stiffness from the new full-length ENERGYRODS 2.0. A new outsole makes the shoe far more durable, which combined with the increased cushioning and inherently more stable ride makes it excellent as a long run and uptempo long run shoe. The upper finally fits true to size, while still providing plenty of room and security. The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 is for those who want a marathon shoe that has the cushioning and durability to double for both training and racing.

David: The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 continues upon the super shoe lineage the company has established. The shoe still utilizes a full-length Lightstrike Pro midsole that is coupled with the Carbon Energy Rods. The updates to the shoe include the geometrical configuration, the upper, and some small tweaks to the outsole. The shoe is now a lot wider underfoot with a small increase in stiffness thanks to the now conjoined energy rods. The result is a super shoe with a similar weight profile that increases stability underfoot without sacrificing responsiveness. For me personally, I had some issues with the upper and fit but more on that later. 


Matt: The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 fits me true to size in my normal men's US size 10. The fit is slightly wider for a racing shoe in the forefoot, while the midfoot and heel fit normal in width. The upper is a lightweight, see-through mesh that breathes extremely well. There is no heel counter, so those who are sensitive to those will have no issue here. Despite having no heel counter, there is additional padding at the rearmost portion of the upper which helps further improve security and comfort. There is also an adjustable flap at the heel which can flip up or down depending on how you want it to fit around your Achilles. I am not really sure what this is for, but it has not caused me any issues.

For how breathable and light the upper is, it is secure. External overlays in the heel add some structure in the rear, while an internal strap across the anterior midfoot and forefoot locks down the front of the foot. The tongue is thin and non-gusseted but is locked down by the laces through multiple connection points. Surprisingly I did not have any issues with bunching of the tongue as I put the shoe on. Despite how light the upper is, I have not had to lace lock it for security. The heel and midfoot being so light initially feel loose, but I have not experienced any slippage running fast or long.

Like many marathon and distance racing shoes, I would make sure you wear socks with this shoe. The single layer of Celermesh is light and comfortable, but the inner part of the upper is a bit scratchy. I had no issues with blisters or rubbing even on longer runs, but I would encourage the use of at least thin socks with this shoe.

The Adios Pro 3 fits true to size in my normal Men's 9.5. Comparing to the Pro 2 this model does fit more true to size without any excessive length issue. The upper itself does have some volume vertically through the midfoot similar to the previous model that seems to go away well enough with some lockdown. The fit throughout is normal for a racing and performance shoe, though a little wider in the forefoot. The material of the upper is more of a synthetic material and can be a tad course but does ok with socks. I did have a lot of problems with it though. Not so much the material itself, but the integration with the platform.

The platform may be wider than its predecessor but the foam cuts really narrow through the medial aspect of the midfoot. With the foam cutting in that much, my navicular and medial longitudinal arch (inner side of the midfoot) are literally hanging on the edge of the platform through the midfoot. Dynamically this caused some mismatching with my gait mechanics. The shoe felt as though it would pronate naturally while my foot was held vertically and the overlay along the lateral aspect of the rearfoot would push into the lateral aspect of my foot. After a few miles this would start to cause pain. I did do multiple runs in this shoe, and it happened every time. It got to a point where I had to drop out of a speed workout because of the pain it was causing the outside of my foot. Unfortunately, I did have some bruising following the workout right at the peroneal tubercle of the calcaneus. I had 15 miles on these shoes and will remain objective, but the upper integration really did not work well with my mechanics. 


Matt: The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 is a highly cushioned, moderate heel drop, carbon rodded marathon/longer effort shoe. Full-length carbon rods sit between two layers of thick Lightstrike Pro in the midsole with increased stack height in the forefoot (33mm) compared to the previous version. The increase in forefoot stack height is noticeable, providing a highly cushioned feel under the front of the foot. This provides a moderate 6.5 mm drop, which is exactly what the Adios Pro 3 feels like (not too low and not too high). The entire midsole has a soft, moderately bouncy ride underfoot. It is extremely protective no matter where you land. The full-length energy rods that extend into the rearfoot make the heel feel cushioned and slightly stiff. This contrasts to the forefoot, which feels soft, especially as the rods have broken in. The ride is rockered to offset the stiffness from the rods, with a solid forefoot rocker up front and a mildly posterior lateral heel in the rearfoot. Both of these take a few miles to break in as the rods were extremely stiff initially. As the ride improved, I found the rods to provide more inherent structure and more rigidity when the pace picked up.

Despite the lighter listed weight, I found my size 10 US Adios Pro 3 to weigh similar to my size 10 US Adios Pro 2 (8.5 oz). The shoe feels larger and bulkier thanks to the increased stack height and wider shape. The increased cushioning has actually made the Adios Pro 3 feel better at easy paces compared to the aggressive version 2. However, the trade-off is that its versatility into shorter distances has mostly vanished. I have used the Adios Pro 3 for fartleks, a tempo and multiple long runs with both easy and uptempo efforts. This shoe excels at long runs at both easy and uptempo efforts, but struggles as the pace starts to get faster. I had difficulty running intervals in this shoe as anything below half marathon pace felt clunky. Tempo paces and uptempo efforts felt extremely comfortable. Even easy long runs have felt good as the increased forefoot cushioned and well-placed forefoot rocker make transitions there comfortable. For that reason, the Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 will work for half to full marathon racing as well as longer workouts and runs.

Durability has always been a challenge for me with the Adios Pro series. For the first time, I have not been able to wear through the outsole in 30-50 miles. I have 40 miles on my pair of Adios Pro 3 and the outsole rubber is still completely intact. The upper has remained unchanged and the stiff rods have continued to break in for a slightly aggressive but still comfortable ride. Adidas clearly did their homework and I expect this shoe to last for an extremely long period of time, potentially up to what trainers do. The rods are relaxing, so like many super shoes, this may work as a racing shoe for several races, then may settle in to become a workout and long run shoe when the stiffness eases. 

David: The Adios Pro 3 has some geometric changes which does alter the ride of the shoe quite a bit. The Pro 2 has a large posterior lateral bevel that cut quickly onto the forefoot. The Adios Pro 3 takes a much more gradual and stability-like approach with the ride. The bevel is more central and the heel has sole flaring both medially and laterally to increase the cross-sectional area underfoot. You do feel like there is a little bit of a lateral wedge when landing, but I think that is just because the foam itself is so soft and decompresses that way on the wider platform. The midfoot still has a medial cutout which feels like it transitions you into pronation pretty quickly. The wide and early starting forefoot give a strong base to help with controlling that motion forward though.

With some of the issues mentioned above in the fit section, I did end up developing some pain through that midfoot transition. I normally don't have a problem with quick transitioning shoes in that region, but the upper integration with the platform impacted the ride. The shoe and the foot were not on the same page and I essentially would keep jamming my peroneal tubercle (heel bone area on lateral (outer) side of foot) into the overlay and cross stitch right at the lateral rearfoot.

All of this aside, the platform itself is promising. The Lightstrike Pro midsole is still very soft and bouncy underfoot. The sole flaring in the forefoot makes for a really stable feeling in that region when going through toe off. Because of all of the sole flaring and geometric changes the shoe does feel more like a long distance marathon shoe. Subjectively it feels a little less fast, but can still get rolling pretty well. The shoe feels really smooth at half marathon to marathon paces and likes to fall into rhythm when able to. The stiffer rod relationship is noticeable and helps with providing a fluid and bouncing platform. The upper and platform integration did not work for me at all, but that may be different for someone else. The shoe itself performed quite nicely before I was having a lot of pain. 


Matt: The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 is a neutral shoe with no traditional stability elements. However, there are a few things that make it a stable neutral shoe. The outsole and shape of the shoe is much wider than previous, with a significant amount of sole flare at the heel and especially at the forefoot. This creates a wide platform with resistance to both medial and lateral motion at those two places. The midfoot does have the geometric cutout, but like version 2, the carbon fiber rods create a high level of rigidity that I do not notice this at all. As mentioned above, the carbon rods also create a stiff overall ride with a high level of torsional rigidity that also may resist some motion side to side. The posterior lateral heel bevel is still present, but has been toned down a great deal. This does guide in heel landings and does provide a little resistance to medial motion at the heel, but is not biased due to the additional lateral sole flare just ahead of it.

I have taken the Adios Pro 3 for a 15-mile long run and suffered none of the usual fatigue I get from running in neutral shoes. For that reason and above, the Adios Pro 3 is a stable neutral racing shoe that is less biased than the previous version and will work for those with neutral to mild stability needs. Those with significant midfoot instabilities should be a little cautious, but those with moderate stability needs in the heel and forefoot using this for short to moderate distances should be fine. It should be noted that the insole is non-removable/glued on, so custom inserts and insoles may not be the best option (unless you manage to rip the insole out). 

David: The stability of the Adios Pro 3 is interesting. The Lightstrike Pro midsole is certainly softer but Adidas made some changes to help create more cross sectional area underfoot. The sole flaring and wider platform does create a much more stable ride underfoot, with the exception of the midfoot. The midfoot still transitions quick as it did in its predecessor, though the medial aspect of the midfoot is quite narrow in conjunction with the upper integration. This created an excessive pronation moment for myself and essentially jammed my lateral calcaneus into the cross stitch in the upper's overlays. With that said the rearfoot and forefoot feel really good in the stability category. The sole flaring is well done and geometry is forgiving. The midfoot integration was a huge problem for me though and created soreness in both of my fibular muscle groups on the lateral aspect of the lower leg. The Adios Pro 3 moved forward in some directions and backwards in others. 


Adios Pro: Design Changes, Shoes as Tools, Evolution
By Chief Editor Matt Klein

There are several interesting biomechanical changes in the Adios Pro 3. The significant amount of sole flare drastically changes the ride and reduces the directional bias from the previous version. The full-length energy rods have increased the longitudinal bending stiffness, particularly in the heel. The longer energy rods fall more in line with the traditional stiffening methods of full-length plates for most racing shoe. Thus, the rods are an interesting change, but it is the incredibly wide sole in a super shoe that makes the Adios Pro 3 a little more unique. In fact, the Adios Pro 3 has one of the widest soles of any of the super shoes out there (on par with the Alphafly 1.0).

The increased sole flare and sole width greatly centers the ride of the Adios Pro 3 compared to the laterally biased ride of the Adios Pro 2s. Fortunately, the sole flare occurs in both directions, putting the Adios Pro 3 into more of the guidance side of things. The bidirectional flare will work for a far greater variety of people than the Adios Pro 2 given that it resists motion both ways. This does increase the size of the Adios Pro 3 however, which feels like a far less nimble shoe than the Adios Pro 2. The trade-off is that the Adios Pro 3 does feel far more cushioned underfoot than the prior version. This improves the versatility of the Adios Pro 3 into the training realm, where there is enough foam and inherent stability to be used for longer training miles in addition to longer workouts and races.

We often caution people from using super foam racing shoes for easy runs due to their often aggressive and unstable nature. The majority of these shoes are tested at fast or uptempo running efforts among competitive/elite runners. Although they almost always feature stiffening mechanisms like plates or rods to stabilize these soft foams, the geometry is also often not stable enough for easy mileage. This is due to the fact that compression of the soft and often narrow platforms may induce excessive motion in other planes of motion besides the sagittal plane (front to back). This may stress certain tissues if they are not accustomed to controlling that much motion. Few people (if at all) truly have a perfectly straight movement pathway and unless you are moving at faster speeds, you may not load these shoes the way they were intended. If you use a tool for a task it wasn't meant for, you may not get the best result.

While runners should be a bit cautious about using a tool beyond its intended purpose, it is still extremely important to use it in training to practice for what they intend to use it for in races. For longer races like marathons, long runs are a staple training effort. We encourage runners to test their race day shoes during some of their long runs to not only practice what they intend to do on race day, but also let their bodies adapt to whatever shoe they intend to use for such a long effort. Shoes are tools that the body must adapt to. With a greater difference between a new shoe and the previous pair a runner has been using, the more time that should be taken for the body to get used to it. This allows everything from muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and even nerves time to get used to the new stimulus.

The Adios Pro 3 has been a surprise to me as one of the few super shoes I have been able to use comfortably during easy long runs. Most of the other shoes in this category begin to cause me fatigue when running at slower paces longer due to their softer foams or other reasons for inherent instability. The ride is still quite stiff, particularly with the now full-length carbon fiber rods. This may be uncomfortable for some people who like more flexibility, but for someone like me who needs some stiffness or stability to compensate for some inherent instability, the Adios Pro 3 work quite well. It is still not something I would usually take out for everyday mileage, but has been able to start blurring the lines like many of the older marathon shoes/lightweight trainers that worked for both training and longer distance racing for some people. We still need to be asking the questions of what each shoe has been designed for as a tool, but as the tools become more versatile, the bigger question may be who this tool is most appropriate for.


Matt: While I was apprehensive of the changes to the Adios Pro 3, I have enjoyed running in it. The modifications from version 2 have made it a different shoe. It functions more as a marathon and long-run shoe now rather than the versatile 5k to half/full marathon shoe for some. This does differentiate more from the Takumi Sen series (as mentioned), which is far more suited to 5k-10k efforts. I have enjoyed the newly centered and stable ride, but it is quite different from the previous model. As mentioned, the Adios Pro 3 has lost the responsiveness of the previous version that made it useable for shorter distances and now will be a longer race/effort shoe for most people. I personally would not use this shoe for any race less than 20 miles, so my only recommendation would be to get some of that responsiveness back that made it versatile into some slightly shorter distances like the 10k. Outside of that, I am really enjoying it in ways I did not expect (ie as a go-to long-run shoe). 

David: I wanted to love this shoe. I really did. The platform underfoot feels good with solid responsiveness and stability in the rearfoot and forefoot. The shoe physically hurt me though unfortunately. I was able to change shoes and symptoms would go away, and the shoe left bruising at my peroneal tubercle on the calcaneus. I'm not opposed to the materials in the upper or external support but the shoe needs to clean up that midfoot transition. There were a lot of changes made to the Adios Pro 3 geometrically and the midfoot leaves the medial longitudinal arch and navicular essentially hanging off of the medial aspect of the midfoot. When a midsole is that soft and bouncy there needs to be some security through that region. I know the company wants to show their energy rods, so I'm thinking maybe keep those shown at the midline of the shoe and provide a little bit of medial reinforcement with Lightstrike Pro or better upper integration to clean that up. This is one of the shoes I was most excited for this year and I am beyond sad I simply can't run in it, especially after enjoying the 2nd version. 


Matt: The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 is for those who want a highly cushioned half/full marathon racer/longer run shoe with a wider inherently stable base, additional forefoot cushioning and a slightly wider fit (for a racing shoe). The upper is light and breathable, providing security without being compressive. The sole is extremely wide with a large amount of sole flare both sides that contribute to an inherently stable and guided ride. The midsole is soft and stiff at first thanks to the full-length rods and double layer of Lightstrike Pro. The larger size and more inherently stable ride makes the Adios Pro 3 better for longer efforts and less able to turn over for faster efforts. Thus, for those wanting a long-distance shoe for either half/full marathon racing or a long run shoe for those running uptempo efforts or easy, the Adios Pro 3 is a solid option. 

David: The Adios Pro 3 is a top shelf racing shoe for those looking to have a soft ride but a little bit of a wider platform underfoot. The midfoot can be a tad narrow and has some instability moving medially, but if that doesn't bug the athlete this shoe could be quite effective. The shoe feels smoothest at controlled fast efforts and could be a solid option for half marathon/full marathon racing shoe. It doesn't feel quite as "fast" as the Adios Pro 2 but maintains the same weight with perhaps improved responsiveness. So with that said the shoe can still roll pretty well. The midfoot design mentioned above did not work well for me and so I had a really hard time in this shoe, but I could still appreciate some of the other elements in the Adios Pro 3. 


Fit: A- (Light secure upper that has a good amount of forefoot room with a normal width heel/midfoot. No heel counter and breathes extremely well)
B+/A- (Highly cushioned forefoot with soft and slightly stiff ride. Best half/full marathon efforts and can double for longer easy runs. Less versatile for faster/shorter efforts)
Stability: A- [Stable Neutral] (Increased outsole flare and longer rods creates a more centered and stable ride, particularly in forefoot and heel)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (Bidirectional sole flare improves inherent stability. Geometric cut-outs do not impact the ride. Full-length rods create more consistent stiffness throughout)
Personal: B+/A- (One of my main long-run shoes right now. A little disappointed that this shoe has lost its versatility into faster efforts, but impressed at the ability to tolerate long runs and longer uptempo efforts)
Overall: A- 

Fit: B- (More true to size, nice wide forefoot, but some foot translation and the integration in the midfoot is not great. I feel like I'm falling medially through the medial longitudinal arch.)
Performance: A- 
(Doesn't quite feel as fast, but the shoe does really well at controlled fast efforts for half M and full M)
Stability: B (Some improvements with platform and sole flaring but upper integration with platform not good in midfoot. The crashing medially without upper following well creates a lot of lateral abrasion and pressure.)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (Good sole flaring and integration to help with stabilizing the soft foam. They missed the ball with the midfoot integration though medially)
Personal: D (I REALLY wanted to love this shoe. Good improvements on the platform but the shoe gives me physical pain every time I run in it after a few miles. I can't run in it. I can appreciate from afar but I simply can't run in this shoe for more than a couple miles without pain.)
Overall: (A top shelf racing shoe with A LOT of potential. The sole flaring moving in the right direction but the upper integration in the midfoot can be so much better. Those that are not sensitive to sloppy collapsing midfoots can still let it rock in these shoes. The shoe just needs to clean that up and this would be a potential racing option for myself.)


Price: $249.95 at Running Warehouse

| Women

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Running Warehouse for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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